john_m2By John Martin, CPFA Chair

Last spring’s CC Journal was extraordinary. It had an incredible array of articles and opinion pieces dealing with issues that impact California’s community college faculty. Topping out at 16 pages and distributed throughout the community college system, our Spring, 2011 edition set a high bar.

Our editor, Pamela Hanford, will continue to “push the envelope” when reporting on higher education and non-tenure track issues both in the state and across the country. Having said this, if CPFA is to advocate, educate, and legislate, then we need your support. Join CPFA NOW! Encourage others to do the same. We need your financial support, not just your moral support, in order to continue promoting for change.

Speaking of our Journal and in case you’ve missed it, the spring edition included voices from Jonathon Lightman of FACCC (Faculty Association for the California Community Colleges), Ken Meier, former VP of Instruction from Butte College, Deborah Dahl-Shanks of FACCC (a former board member who now serves on our CPFA Executive Council), and finally, Robert Yosihoka, our Legislative Analyst. All four wrote to urge the passage of AB 852 (more on this later) for rehire rights for the part-time ranks in the California Community College system.

One major story was written by Dr. Cary Nelson, AAUP President, who clearly spelled out the “crisis” where management and the unions’ hierarchies often work against us or worse, are apathetic about our issues. Dr. Nelson concluded that academic freedom is “only available to a minority of faculty members” or, only those who have tenure.

In an attempt to right the wrongs with this issue, AB 852 is still on our radar screen. The passage of this bill by the Assembly was a victory for us. The Senate Higher Education Committee decided to table it, turning it into a two year bill. This gives us more opportunity to lobby on its behalf during the upcoming legislative session ( join us in Sacramento, anyone?).

As your CPFA representative, I will be there along with our friends and supporters from from CCA, CCC, CCCI, CWA and FACCC to work on its passage. Together we hope to persuade legislators that there is no significant cost involved (see the chart on page 5 of the spring journal, “Rehire Rights for Part-time Faculty is More Fiscally Responsible” or find “Media” at, to find a link to the spring issue). This refutes the claim that management needs to be “flexible” to hire and fire its part-time work force. This shameful practice, as noted by Dr. Nelson, argues that “thousands of faculty members serving in contingent positions –some for decade or two or more – have effectively ‘passed’ their tenure review by virtue of being hired back year after year.”

In far too many instances the “flexibility” argument is simply a ruse to keep “favorites” employed and to get rid of “trouble makers” without due process. All faculty must be protected from arbitrary hiring and firing. If AB 852 passes, the Ed Code would not only give some real job security but due process would be in place.

Two new EC members have been added to the executive council: Deborah Dahl-Shanks and Lin Chan. Deborah is our Public Relations Director and Lin Chan will represent the Greater L.A. Region.